Powers and functions of president of India

Powers and functions of president of India


The President of India who is also known as the de facto head (head by law) whose post is created under part 5 of the constitution by virtue of Article 52 which reads as “There shall be a President of India”. The primary duty of the President is to safeguard the constitutional values, of which he/she have sworn oath under Article 60. Beside saving the constitutional values the President has many more powers and functions.

In India the power of the union government is exercised by the president in the name of pursuance of constitutional stipulation under Article 53 which read as “The executive power of the Union shall be vested in the President and shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinate to him in accordance with this Constitution.” The constitutional powers and function of the President can be classified broadly in eight parts.

Executive Power

• Under article 75 of the constitution which makes the president to appoint Prime Minister and council of minister on advice of the majority party in Lok Sabha. Beside the appointment of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers President also appoints the judges of the Supreme Court and High Court. He also appoints: –

1. Governor of a state (Article 153)
2. Attorney General (Article 76)
3. Comptroller and auditor general (Article 148)
4. Election commissioner (Article 324)

• Presidents can ask from the council of minister to show that they are enjoying confidence of house or not.

Legislative Function

• The President as the head of the union legislature and been a part of it, he/she summons both the house of the Parliament, promulgate them and dissolve the Lok Sabha at the end of 5 year or the ruling party have lost the no-confidence motion.
• Under article 108 of the constitution the President can summon both the house of the Parliament for a joint sitting in a case of a deadlock. Till date only three joint session of the Parliament are held and the Three Bills which were in dispute were passed in a joint sitting.
• Under Article 331 the President nominate 2 members of the Anglo-Indian community to the Lok Sabha. (This practice is abolished after 104th Constitutional Amendment act)
• The President also nominated 12 members to the Rajya Sabha from different fields like literature, science, art and social service.
• The President may remove a Minister from his post on the advice of the Council of Ministers.

Legislative Power

• All the bills which are passed by both the houses of the Parliament need the assent of the President to become an act.
• The bills which were passed by the state legislature may be reserved for the consideration of the President by the Governor of the state (under article 200).
• In respect to the bills the President has certain more power which are known as the veto power, there are three types of veto power: –
a. Absolute Veto- When he denies to sign a bill.
b. Suspensive Veto- When he sends the bill for reconsideration to the Parliament.
c. Pocket Veto- When he causes infinite delay in signing the bill. (First time used by Giani Zail Singh in 1987 over the post office amendment bill)
• The President of India is empowered by the article 143 to take advice from the Supreme court in case of the constitutional validity of an issue, this power of the President is known as president reference.
• Under article 123 the president had the power to promulgate Ordinance when both houses of the Parliament are not in session. The ordinance has the same effect as that of an act. The lifespan of an ordinance is 6 weeks from the date on which the next session of the Parliament begins. If it is not passed by any of the house then it will lapse and cease to be enforced

Emergency Power

The constitution empowers the President with three emergency power that are: –
1. National Emergency- Under article 352 President can proclaim National emergency on advice of the Union Cabinet on the grounds: –
a. War
b. External aggression
c. Armed Rebellion (It replaced the word internal disturbance by 44th Constitutional Amendment)

• During the National Emergency the nature of the government changes to Unitary from Federal.
• In the time of emergency fundamental rights can be suspended except Art 20 & 21(after 44th Constitutional Amendment)
• Till date National Emergency is imposed 3 times.
2. State emergency- Under article 356 the President can proclaim state emergency on advice of the governor of the state in case of the failure of constitutional machinery or after the election no party or coalition is able to prove majority, it is also known as President rule.
3. Financial emergency Under Article 360 the president can proclaim Financial emergency if he thinks that the financial stability or credit of India is threatened. Till date financial emergency have not been imposed in India

Pardoning Power

The president empowered by Article 72 to grant pardon, remission or reprieves to a person if he/she is convicted of any offence: –
1. Sentenced by court martial;
2. Union Law;
3. In case of death sentence.

Military Power

• The President is the commander in chief of all the armed forces.
• He/She can declare a war or conclude peace on aid and advice of the council of minister headed by the Prime Minister.
• All the treaties and agreements are negotiated and concluded in the name of the President.
• He/She also appoints the chief of Army, Navy and Air Force.

Financial Power

• For the introduction of a money bill in the Parliament the prior permission of the President is required.
• The annual financial statement which has to place before the parliament, but behalf of the President it is presented by the Union Finance Minister.

Diplomatic Power

• The president received Ambassador, High Commissioner and Diplomatic envoy from foreign Nations.
• He/she represents India in International Conference.
• He/she also appointed Ambassador (for non-common wealth country) and High Commissioner (for common wealth country).

Author: Devanshu Jain,
SLS Nagpur

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